Happy Thanksgiving, Cadet!

We hope that during this festive annual holiday, you are sneaking in some fun learning time by logging into Math Blaster! Give yourself a little break from hasty celebrations by taming an alien in Alien Wrangler, or beating the boss from the deep volcanic cave in Hyper Blast. Whatever it may be, may you have an amazing galactic adventure and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Larva Boss

Worksheet of the Week

5-minutues-drill

Latest Space Finding: Jets in our Supermassive Black Hole

Do not mistake these jets as a type of plane that we can see flying through Earth’s skies. In this case, the term “jet” refers to high-energy particles that can be found in space. Categorized under a branch of scientific study, called particle physics, these jets are believed to be produced when materials that were originally falling towards a black hole are redirected outwards. In fact, this amazing occurrence plays an important role in transporting energy and regulating the rate of new star formations.

Photo by NASAblueshift

Photo by NASAblueshift

Why is finding a jet so important to scientists? It helps them determine the direction of the black hole’s spin axis, which allows them to make more accurate assumptions about the growth and history of the black hole. Since the study found that the black hole is pointing to the same direction as the Milky Way, astronomers are able to insinuate that gas and dust have migrated steadily into the black over instead of colliding with large galaxies.

Since the activity of the giant black hole has been relatively low over the past few hundred years, the jets surrounding appears to be weak. However, scientists speculate that the jet may brighten dramatically when the black hole starts consuming material more actively.

Worksheet of the Week

shuffling-numbers

Make a Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with your Blaster

Turkeys is the iconic symbol of Thanksgiving. However, not all kids favor the healthiness and light taste of turkeys. With a little bit of seasoning and the festivity surrounding the holidays, find out how you can turn a delicious turkey recipe into a math learning tool for your kid!

Photo by tuchodi

Photo by tuchodi

Roast Turkey

Making a traditional and tasty roasted turkey requires a bit more time and effort than usual seasonal dishes. You will need a few ingredients to add some flavor to the meaty texture.

Ingredients

2 gallons of water

2 cups of apple juice

1½ cups of kosher salt

2 cups of brown sugar

5 cloves of garlic (crushed)

5 bay leaves

4 tablespoon of black peppercorns

2 table spoons of dried rosemary

3 oranges (peeled, white pith removed, skill roughly chopped)

1 fresh turkey (20 pounds)

1½ sticks of butter (softened)

3 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves (minced)

3 tablespoons of orange zest (chopped)

Directions

You will need to start the preparation process at least a day in advance to ensure that the turkey is properly seasoned and ready to be roasted on the day of the celebration.

  1. Mix the water, apple juice, bay leaves, garlic, sugar, salt, peppercorns, orange peel, and dried rosemary in a large pot, and boil it. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat off immediately, allow it to cool to room temperature, and settle it in the fridge.
  2. Remove the turkey from its packaging and rinse it thoroughly under cool water.
  3. Place the turkey in a plastic brining bag or large pot, and pour the cool mixture you previously created over the top. Add extra cold water if you need more mixture to complete cover the turkey. Seal the bag or cover the pot, and place the turkey in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.
  4. The next day, rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold water before you start roasting it. Be sure to soak the turkey in fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes to prevent the gravy from becoming too salty).
  5. Preheat the over to 275°F
  6. Cover the turkey with heavy-duty foil and place it breast-side up on the rack in a roasting pan. A 20 pound turkey will roast for about 3½ hours.
  7. Remove the turkey and increase the temperature to 375°F.
  8. Remove the alumni foil. Mix the softened butter with the fresh rosemary and orange peel, and rub it all over the skin of the turkey.
  9. Place a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint, and place the turkey back into the over.
  10. Basting the turkey with butter every 30 minutes until the meat thermometer shows 170°F and the juice are no longer pink.
  11. Cover the turkey with foil until you are ready to carve and serve.
  12. Reserve the pan juice to make gravy.
Photo by Glory Foods

Photo by Glory Foods

To make your own gravy, ladle off the excess fat from the juice with a gravy spoon. Then, using just enough water to dissolve ¼ cup of corn starch. Beat until there’s no lumps, and slowly and stirring constantly, add the corn starch to the juice. Note: You may not use up all the cornstarch mixture. Just add until you get your desired thickness. Finish off by adding seasonings.

Math Integration

Since making a turkey dinner requires a lot of steps, effort, and time, you can definitely plan a few learning exercises. Here are a few math activities you can incorporate in the whole preparation process:

  • Learning units by measuring the ingredients
  • Learning temperature and conversion by setting up the oven and reading the measurement on the thermometer
  • Learning time by measuring the time needed to brine and roast the turkey

Have a wonderful time learning about math and preparing for Thanksgiving with your Blaster!

Choose Your Intergalactic Companion

One of the joys of being a Blaster at the Intergalactic Space Station is having a Monster Mutt that accompanies you on your journeys. All Monster Mutts start off as larvae and can be found at the Larva Den. Here is a brief walkthrough of how to unite with your new friend.

LarvaDen1

Head to the Park where GC will greet you. She will give you some helpful advice on raising a Monster Mutt and direct you to the Larva Den.

LarvaDen2

The Larva Den is where all of the baby larvae live. Upon entering, you will see a bunch of larvae crawling about, playing with their toys and meeting their Blasters. Walk around until a larva chooses you as its trainer.

LarvaDen3

You will know you have found your trusty larva sidekick when it jumps into your arms. A special bond is created the moment a larva picks you. Congratulations on meeting your intergalactic companion!

LarvaDen4

Now that you have found your larva, it is time to name it. Choose from a variety of different combinations to give your pet a unique name.

LarvaDen5

A few important bars will appear that indicate how your larva is doing. Keep an eye on these meters to ensure that your larva is happy, energized, and full. You can care for your larva to keep it in great shape.

LarvaDen6

Finally, take your larva to its new home in your Pod. Once it has scurried off to its own Mutt Pod, you can decorate it and care for it there.

Finding a larva and caring for it is one of the greatest parts of being a Blaster. Take your larva on adventures and watch it grow right before your eyes. You will create a strong team that can rely on each other as you learn and protect the galaxy together.

Worksheet of the Week

choose-as-it-suits